Dec 03 2015

NFL 2015 Week 13 Gameplan

December is here. And we’re exactly a month away from knowing the 12 teams in the playoffs.

Last week, the Gameplan got off to a weak start. There were 3 Thanksgiving games, and I whiffed on all of them! But I cleaned up nicely after that to go 10-6, marking the first time all season that I had back-to-back weeks with 10+ correct predictions.

Now to address the misses on Thanksgiving (and beyond):

– Lions QB Matthew Stafford threw 5 TD passes and no INTs against the Eagles – the first time he did that in his career.

– The Panthers rushed for 129 yards, and QB Cam Newton scored his 7th rushing TD of the season in Dallas, while Cowboys DE Greg Hardy was nameless and faceless against his former team. 1

– The Bears shut the Packers out in the 2nd half at Lambeau Field, with CB Tracy Porter intercepting a pass on Green Bay’s penultimate drive and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers missing on his last 4 passes from the Chicago 8 to end the game.

– Despite having three reserve offensive lineman on the road in Jacksonville, Chargers QB Philip Rivers was sacked only twice in 45 dropbacks, and he turned in 4 TD passes and no turnovers.

– The Raiders held the one-dimensional Titans to a season-low 44 rushing yards and no rushing TDs.

– Mistakes doomed San Francisco in their upset bid against the Cardinals; Arizona took advantage of 7 1st downs via 49ers penalties to stay on the field almost 15 more minutes, and the 49ers failed to convert on all 9 3rd downs.

Before we move on to December, let’s pour yet another one out for the Cleveland Browns:

Brutal. The last time something like that happened in the NFL, it was 1996, when the Seahawks were in the AFC and the Oilers were in Houston:

Green Bay at Detroit: 


Houston at Buffalo: The Texans have been playing the best defense in the league since benching FS Rahim Moore, but the last time Houston QB Brian Hoyer visited Buffalo, he was benched in the 4th quarter in favor of Johnny Manziel.

San Francisco at Chicago: The 49ers haven’t won in Chicago since the 1988 NFC Championship, and the Bears haven’t lost at home to San Francisco in the regular season since 1974; the Bears have 10 sacks in their last 4 games, 3 of which they won.

Cincinnati at Cleveland: For the 10th time since 1999, the Browns are starting 2 different QBs in their season series against the Bengals; Cleveland QB Austin Davis starts ahead of Johnny Manziel against a Cincinnati defense that is T-3rd in the NFL with 14 INTs.

Baltimore at Miami: The Dolphins completed the coaching trifecta, firing offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and replacing him with QB coach Zac Taylor; Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is 4-0 against the Dolphins in the regular season, and the Baltimore run defense will make it hard for Miami to re-establish their neglected run game this week.

Seattle at Minnesota: It’s going to be very difficult for Seattle QB Russell Wilson to duplicate his 5-TD, 345-yard performance in Minnesota; only 3 teams allow fewer passing yards per game than the Vikings.

New York Jets at New York Giants: The Giants have won 5 straight against the Jets, and Giants WR Odell Beckham, Jr. won’t have to deal with Jets CB Darrelle Revis.

Arizona at Saint Louis: The Rams are one of two teams to beat the Cardinals this season – if they’re going to make it a season sweep, than they will need to get to Arizona QB Carson Palmer like they did earlier in the season. 2

Atlanta at Tampa Bay: The Falcons have been in a free fall after starting 1-5, and turnovers are a big part of it, especially in the red zone; pressure from Tampa Bay DT Gerald McCoy and DE Jacquies Smith will determine whether or not the Buccaneers sweep Atlanta for the first time since Atlanta QB Matt Ryan was drafted in 2008.

Jacksonville at Tennessee: The Titans have lost their last 11 home games 3 – look for Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota to finish the job this time against a Jacksonville secondary that has allowed a TD pass in 9 straight road games.

Kansas City at Oakland: The Chiefs lead the NFL in rushing TDs this season, showing that they can get it done on the ground with just about any of their backs; Oakland is 1-4 when allowing a rushing TD this season.

Denver at San Diego: Sunday night was great, but I need Denver QB Brock Osweiler to play a little better so he can stay on the field; facing a San Diego pass defense that gives up the most big plays in the league should help.

Philadelphia at New England: The Eagles have given up 45 points and 5 TD passes in back-to-back games – they will get a chance at redemption in New England if they can get to Patriots QB Tom Brady, who is coming off of back-to-back games of at least 10 hits each for the first time in his 16-year NFL career.

Carolina at New Orleans: Lot’s of critical AFC games this week, but for me, the Game of the Week features the last undefeated team left taking on a player in Saints QB Drew Brees who is 4-0 against teams 5-0 or better.

Indianapolis at Pittsburgh: It’s good to see the Colts continue to win with QB Matt Hasselbeck, who takes good care of the football, but few QBs make their teams more dangerous than Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger – the Colts know this after Roethlisberger hit them for 522 pass yards and 6 TDs last season.

Dallas at Washington: Yes, Washington has lost 13 of 14 MNF home games – but QB Kirk Cousins has been a top-5 passer at home this season (11 TD, 2 INT, 5-1 record), and he’s going up against a Dallas defense that has struggled to create disruption most of the season.

Ever since the Panthers and Saints rumbled in the Superdome last December, the Panthers have won 15 straight regular season games. They come back this December as the only undefeated team left in the NFL.

Ever since the Panthers and Saints rumbled in the Superdome last December, the Panthers have won 15 straight regular season games. They come back this December as the only undefeated team left in the NFL.

Show 3 footnotes

  1. Hardy did nothing in 41 snaps on Thanksgiving – no tackles, no sacks, no hits. Nothing.
  2. Cardinals allowed a season-high 4 sacks vs. Rams in October, while allowing Palmer to be hit 10 times.
  3. The last home win for Tennessee came against the Jaguars in October 2014.

1 ping

  1. NFL 2015 Week 14 Gameplan »

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